Roach to high jump, Hembree to run in college
Grinning from ear to ear, Jordan Roach's excitement was on full display Wednesday.
"I'm really excited," said Roach, who will head to Shawnee to join the Bison. "I'm very happy. I'm a little bit nervous about the future and everything. But I'm excited."
Roach, donning a green OBU shirt, said there wasn't much question about which college she was going to high jump at.
"I've been to a few camps there," she said, "and my parents both went there, so I feel like it's where I need to be."
Judging by this year's roster, Roach will become the only Tahlequah athlete on the Bison's roster.
"I hope other students and athletes look at this and realize it's a possibility for them," Tahlequah coach Elzy Miller said. "Hopefully it'll bring some more kids into our program."
While Miller loses Roach's services during track season, the longtime Tahlequah coach will be without Hembree in both cross country and track.
"They're going to be hard to replace," Miller said. "...We do this every year and we say, 'we can't replace them, we can't replace them.' And I'm serious this time, I don't know if we can replace these two kids."
Hembree, a three-time state champion in cross country, said she never pictured her future where she'd be this successful before going off to a Division I program.
"I never would have imagined this happening," said Hembree, who recovered from a leg injury as a junior to win the 5A state cross country crown easily in October.
Now, she's off to help the Sooners reestablish themselves as a prominent national power.
"It'll just be really exciting," Hembree said, "to help the program rebuild itself."